Barcelona Announce Signing of Goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIMay 19, 2014

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Update from Thursday, May 22

Marc-Andre ter Stegen officially signed his first Barcelona contract on Thursday, putting the seal on his move from Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Barca's official Twitter reported:

Barcelona's official site reported more details:

The contract binds Marc-André ter Stegen to FC Barcelona until the 2018/19 season. It also establishes that his buyout clause will be set at 80 million euros. The transfer fee was 12 million euros.

Original Text

Barcelona took a step toward reasserting themselves as the pre-eminent powerhouse in La Liga by signing Borussia Moenchengladbach goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen on Monday.

The club's official Twitter account broke the news:

Football journalist Sergi Dominguez spoke highly of Ter Stegen in his analysis:

Reuters' Karolos Grohmann also praised Barca's marquee acquisition:

Ter Stegen, 22, spent his entire youth career and the first few seasons on the senior level with Moenchengladbach in the Bundesliga. Now he will attempt to become the 'keeper of the future for one of the most storied franchises in world football.

Barcelona's tenuous goalkeeper situation triggered this move. Jose Manuel Pinto made it known in April that he wouldn't return to the team. Veteran Victor Valdes also suffered a serious knee injury during the season and is expected to be out for six months. He is out of contract this summer and will miss out on representing Spain in the World Cup.

Coach Gerardo Martino, who stepped down following the 2013-14 campaign, discussed the devastating impact of Valdes' injury in late March.

"At this stage of the season I thought everything bad had already happened, but I was wrong," said Martino, per The Telegraph's Richard Martin. "This is a terrible blow but this team has got used to dealing with setbacks for a long time and we will keep going."

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Barca are seeking to bounce back after a second-place finish in the league this past season, when injuries plagued the squad and Atletico Madrid rose up to seize the trophy.

Although they were resilient, it wasn't enough to keep Martino around as coach, leading to a mutual parting of ways.

Now is the time to usher in a new era at Camp Nou. Barcelona also reported on Monday that they would introduce Luis Enrique as the team's new boss:

The German international Ter Stegen has a lot of weight on his shoulders moving forward. Expectations are extremely high with this talented nucleus in place, as evidenced by Martino's departure after failing to win the league trophy.

Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

But Barca wouldn't have signed Ter Stegen if they didn't believe he could manage the task. He will be aided by a high-powered Barca attack triggered by Lionel Messi and Neymar (among others) as he gets accustomed to his new grounds.

With the amount of offense the team can generate—Barcelona led La Liga in possession percentage, pass success rate and successful dribbles per game and were No. 2 in shots per game, per WhoScored—there shouldn't be a ton of immediate pressure or scrutiny toward Ter Stegen to start this new phase of his career.

However, he must establish himself as a legitimate authority, or else he will face the backlash that comes with not living up to Barca's tradition of excellence.


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